Tuesday, May 20, 2014

End in sight

Good news: I've learned so many new things this school year that I must be a genius right now! Here are units that I want to teach again next year in English 10:
- Greek mythology, The Odyssey
- Lord of the Flies
- Author research combined with independent reading books
- NaNoWriMo novel writing

Here are units/topics I didn't but want to teach next year in English 10:
- Shakespeare, not sure which play
- Night and other Holocaust literature

Speaking of genius, I'm reading John Green's An Abundance of Katherines right now and quite enjoying it, unlike the first time I tried to read it a few years ago. The only JG book left to read is Paper Towns, which my daughter (age 13 hurray) is reading. I'm a big JG fan - novels, vlogs, Instagram photos, all of it. Speaking of fan, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is next on my to-read list.

Oh wait - almost forgot the BEST NEWS! I met Laurie Halse Anderson at the Rochester Teen Book Festival last Saturday! I managed to take a picture with her before she started her talk about how and why she writes what she writes. I'm wholeheartedly inspired to write, and voila! (Also I ordered her latest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory and an earlier novel I never read, Twisted, which features a teen boy's point of view. She said she's currently writing Ashes, last book in the historical Chains trilogy.) She talked about her childhood, becoming a writer, hating high school English class and the books she was assigned to read but never did (yep, she named a few; Old Man and the Sea is all I remember; I kept chanting, please don't say Lord of the Flies, please don't say Lord of the Flies), later regretting she didn't listen to her English teachers about the writing process and revising.

The second best news is that I met another celebrity on Thursday (two in three days!) - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, better known as the Yarn Harlot! She came to the local knitting guild to give a talk and knitting lessons. I knew she would be funny, and sure enough I almost fell out of my chair laughing, but I didn't expect her to inspire me to be even more loud and proud about knitting than I already have been. The icing on the cake was that I brought my first pair of knitted socks to show her, as I have seen from her blog that other fans do and even pose for pictures with them. After she and the ladies behind me in line commented on the different shapes of these two socks, I said they were made ten months apart, and everyone laughed. Most likely they were laughing at me, but I'm thrilled! I made the Yarn Harlot laugh! The icing on the icing on the cake is that she took our audience photo and just posted it on her blog today - we are totally famous!

WAIT! The absolute BEST ICING on top of all the icing was that, since Laurie Halse Anderson is an avid knitter, which I already knew from her Instagram pics, she was KNITTING at the book fair general assembly when all the authors introduced themselves by answering "truth or talent"!!! (She showed her talent of swearing in Danish!) BAM!